Winter means time to test for radon, cancer-causing gas natural to Piedmont

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You can’t see it or smell it, and you might never know it’s there.

Radon is a naturally occurring gas found throughout about half of the Piedmont. It can be deadly. The gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer nationwide.

The winter months are the best time to test for the substance because windows and doors are less likely to be open, and fans and air conditioning units are not running. That makes testing easier.

You could be living with it for years without knowing its there.

“It’s spotty in Greensboro, we don’t see a whole lot in High Point. But the farther north and west, over in Forsyth County,” Scott Zito said.

It’s Zito’s job to get Radon out of your home. He owns the company Zito Radon Removal.

“What we’re doing is capturing those gases beneath the slab or the crawl space, underneath the vapor barrier and drawing them out with a fan, a specialized radon fan,” he said.

Zito usually gets the call to come in from a real estate agent like Lindsey Whitlatch.

She says many times the gas is detected during the home buying process.

“If you are buying a home we always recommend getting your home tested for Radon levels because Radon is found everywhere,” Whitlatch said.

New construction homes can be built with ways to keep radon out. But Whitlatch says part of buying any home should include a radon test.

“If you’re selling a home you need to get the levels tested because on the North Carolina property owners disclosure statement, item number 25 is you have to disclose if there is a hazardous toxic level of any substance,” she said.

You want the levels to come back below 4.0 on the results. If you are the one buying the home, you should ask for the results. If a mitigation system was installed it was done correctly with a certified company.

“You need to make sure it’s a certified installer because we’ve had houses where it hasn’t been and they’ve had to come back and get it installed correctly,” Whitlatch said.

Important measures to make sure you don’t live with a deadly substance without ever knowing.

You can get a radon test kit from hardware stores or from some local Department of Health centers.

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